How to Create a Winning Holiday Catalog

Holiday sales can account for more than 30% of annual sales for many businesses. Whether your target audience celebrates the twelve days of Christmas, the eight days of Hanukkah, or the seven days of Kwanzaa, it’s up to you to design a catalog that will help produce record holiday sales.

Below are eight steps to crafting an amazing catalog for the holidays and the single best way to ensure that your holiday catalog produces stellar results.

Step One: Get an early start

Each year, about 40% of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween. Waiting until November to begin designing your catalog can cause you to miss out on early-bird shoppers and can also result in costly mistakes.

Strive to complete your design by the end of September or early October to allow plenty of time for editing, printing, and digital catalog production.

Step Two: Review last year’s holiday catalog sales

The path to a profitable holiday season begins with a review of last year’s catalog sales. Set aside some time to pull last year’s catalog and review it page by page in conjunction with your holiday sales. Take detailed notes and use them as you design this year’s catalog. Here are a few things to note:

  • Top selling products: Identify your top ten sellers and consider them for inclusion in this year’s catalog.
  • Major disappointments: Make a short list of items that had a prominent catalog position but produced disappointing sales results.
  • Surprise winners: Look for products that received minimal catalog coverage but turned out to be big hits last year.

create holiday catalog

Step Three: Craft a dazzling cover

First impressions are critical with any marketing tool. But they are especially important when producing a holiday catalog. The key to making a great first impression with your catalog is to design an outstanding catalog cover.

Also, remember that many print catalogs will be delivered with the back side facing up, so be sure to devote just as much energy to the back of your catalog as you do the front.

Step Four: Include a table of contents

Consumers are busier than ever and most Americans have an attention span that is shorter than a goldfish. So if they cannot quickly find what they’re looking for, they may decide to move on to one of your competitors who makes it easier to locate the item they need.

Here are a few ways to tastefully feature a table of contents in your holiday catalog:

  • On the cover: If your catalog is fairly short or consists of just a few product categories, you can include a short summary on your cover.
  • A tabbed system: A tabbed table of contents is especially effective for print catalogs but can also be used with interactive online catalogs.
  • Feature icons: A growing number of designers are choosing to include icons alongside product categories to boost recognition.

Step Five: Feature plenty of bold seasonal accents

Many consumers approach the holiday season with enthusiasm and cheer. Your catalog should thus include plenty of bright seasonal accents to help them channel that enthusiasm into purchases from your catalog. Accents to feature include garlands, snowmen, wreaths, candles, Christmas trees, holly, and colorful packages. You can use gold, green, or red font to highlight holiday specials and roll out your holiday theme.

how to create a winning holiday catalog

Step Six: Highlight special holiday promotions

Your catalog readers need to have a compelling reason to purchase your products. Offering your regular pricing and standard accessories will not entice prospects to buy from you, and may even drive them into the arms of your competitors who are offering pricing that is almost too good to be true.

The following are some tips to launching holiday specials that your target audience simply cannot ignore:

  • Include holiday freebies: If you sell mobile phones, consider offering a discount plus a free charger and case.
  • Hold a contest: Invite customers to guess how many peppermints can fit in your latest luggage set you are promoting.
  • Use time-sensitive discounts: Flash sales and deep discounts with a short-term expiration date can motivate shoppers to buy quickly.

Step Seven: Make sure your catalog is mobile-friendly

You could offer the best holiday promotions in the world, but if your customers do not have a clear, crisp view of your products and pricing, they may abandon your online catalog quickly. With mobile devices expected to account for nearly 70% of holiday shopping traffic, you can hardly afford not to create a mobile-friendly catalog.

So before you finalize your design, make sure your online holiday catalog is compatible with the latest mobile devices.

Step Eight: Seek input from your customers

Before you finalize your catalog design, run your draft by a sample of your top customers for their input. Customers can provide feedback that can prove to be invaluable for catalog distributions and other marketing initiatives.

For example, they may tell you that you should showcase a top product from a different angle that captures their key features. Or, they could suggest that you remove an item that is declining in popularity and replace it with another item that is suddenly in high demand.

how to create holiday catalog

What is the single best way to craft a stellar holiday catalog?

As outlined above, there are many steps you can take to release a great catalog for the holidays. However, the single best way to ensure that you create a flawless catalog is to seek the expertise of an expert in the catalog printing industry. With the help of an accomplished specialist, you can produce a catalog that will capture the eye of the most blasé holiday shoppers.

We invite you to contact us at The Dingley Press to find out how we can help you boost your holiday sales through our five-star catalog marketing services. With over 90 years of printing excellence, our track record of success speaks for itself. Whether you are seeking a gorgeous print catalog or an interactive digital holiday catalog,

The Dingley Press has the expertise to exceed your expectations. We look forward to helping you maximize your holiday sales this year!